MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Memphis Grizzlies are headed on a three-game road trip with a better grip on the Western Conferences final playoff spot. Marc Gasol scored 19 points, Zach Randolph added 18 points and 12 rebounds as the Grizzlies defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 109-99 on Tuesday night. The victory kept Memphis in the conferences eighth spot with a one-game edge over the idle Phoenix Suns. But players are not satisfied with the current position. "Even though we are in, we want to be higher," guard Courtney Lee said. "Were still chasing, and I think thats the right mindset to have going forward because if you continue to chase, youll never get complacent and fall off." Mike Conley added 17 points and Lee finished with 16. Mike Miller had 14 for Memphis, which won its third straight. Damian Lillard led the Trail Blazers with 32 points on 8-of-21 shooting from the field, but connecting on 12 of 13 free throws, including six in the fourth quarter when he was fouled on a pair of 3-point attempts. LaMarcus Aldridge had 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Nicolas Batum contributed 15 points for Portland, which lost its third straight, matching its longest skid of the season. Memphis built its lead to double-digits early in the fourth quarter and Portland got it under 10 -- to nine -- on only two occasions the rest of the way. The common refrain from the Trail Blazers was it was "just one of those nights." "They would just get a tip ball or a loose ball and they would hit a 3 with it," Lillard said. "It was just one too many of those situations." While Memphis heads on a road trip to New Orleans, Toronto and Philadelphia holding the final playoff spot, Portland sits in the conferences fifth slot. Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts was pleased with the way his team competed and shooting 22 of 29 from the foul line. "I thought we had a lot of shots we normally make," Stotts said. "We took care of the ball (eight turnovers). We got to the free-throw line. We were aggressive. "I thought it was just one of those nights." Portland struggled from the field, connecting on 41 per cent for the game. In addition to Lillards percentage, Aldridge was 8 of 23 and Batum was 5 of 13. Wesley Matthews managed only one field goal on seven attempts. "I think he had good looks," Stotts said of Aldridges shooting. "But you cant make them every night." Aldridge considered it just part of a shooting slump that will end at some point. "I am going to find my rhythm, and I am going to make those shot Ive been missing soon. It will get a lot better," he said. The Grizzlies, who shot at least 50 per cent in each quarter, finished the night at a season-best 56 per cent including 6 of 12 from outside the arc. Memphis held a 54-47 lead at the break, but Portland was close despite shooting 41 per cent. The Trail Blazers gathered nine offensive rebounds for 10 second-chance points. Memphis stretched the lead back to 15 to open the second half, and kept the advantage through the middle stages of the quarter. Lee was the catalyst for Memphis, scoring 13 in the quarter, a difference, he said, of not playing as passive as he had in the first half. "Coaches and my teammates were telling me to go out and be more aggressive," Lee said of the second half. "You dont have to tell me that twice." The Trail Blazers closed the stanza on a 10-4 run to cut the lead to 78-69 entering the fourth. After Nick Calathes connected on a 3-pointer to open the fourth period, Memphis had its double-digit lead back. NOTES: Memphis has won five straight in the series. ... Portland G Will Barton, who played at the University of Memphis, got in for the final minute of the game. ... Five of the previous seven games in the series were decided by six points or less. ... Memphis has a seven-game home winning streak. Arron Afflalo Jersey
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.com) - His team lost in the round of 16 of the FCS playoffs, yet Northern Iowa football coach Mark Farley says his team has made a strong case to be voted to the top 5 in the final rankings.UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The New York Islanders were even with the Florida Panthers in the first period, and coach Jack Capuano liked nothing about it. He let his players know it, and they responded with an impressive final 40 minutes. Josh Bailey had a goal and assist, and the Islanders kept up their strong finish with a 4-2 victory over the Panthers on Tuesday night. "We got off to a real slow start," Capuano said. New York, on the verge of elimination in the Eastern Conference playoff race after qualifying for the post-season a year ago, quickly bounced back from Quinton Howdens short-handed goal less than two minutes in and sent the Panthers to their fourth straight loss. Travis Hamonic, Matt Martin and Mike Halmo also scored, Colin McDonald had two assists, and Evgeni Nabokov made 20 saves for the Islanders, 4-0-1 in their past five. "Guys have done a good job keeping each other up, keeping the spirits up even though it can be tough," Bailey said. "When you think about last year down the stretch and how much fun it was, its difficult. We definitely dont want to find ourselves here ever again, but youve still got a job to do." Florida, which won two earlier meetings this season, is one of three NHL teams with fewer points than New York. "No one is happy with where we are," Martin said. "Its a rough year and a year were not proud of, but to be going down the stretch with some wins and playing good hockey definitely feels a little bit better." Brandon Pirri closed the scoring for Florida, making it 4-2 with his 11th goal -- on a power play -- with 5.9 seconds left in the game. Scott Clemmensen stopped 36 shots for Florida, which lost 6-3 at New Jersey on Monday. "We let them capitalize on too many chances," Panthers centre Nick Bjugstad said. "We have to stay positive and try to end the season with better efforts." The action started quickly for the Panthers, who scored short-handed for the second straight night -- the fourth time that has happened in team history. On his first NHL shift, defenceman Jonathan Racine was called for interference when he levelled forward Cal Clutterbuck 42 seconds in. Florida then struck first. Howden knocked the puck free at the left point and raced the other way alone. He easily stayed in front of Frans Nielssen and beat Nabokov at 1:50.dddddddddddd The Islanders tied it on the same power play, 45 seconds later, when Hamonic netted his third goal. Bailey won a faceoff and got the puck back to Hamonic, who snapped a shot through traffic at 2:35. "The surge started to go our way a little bit, but we didnt play our style in the first," Capuano said. "I wasnt happy at all, and I know the guys werent happy, either, but youve got to find a way. You cant have slow starts in this league." Florida gave the Islanders two other power plays in the period in which the Panthers were outshot 11-5. They were about to get an advantage with 2:19 left when Matt Carkner high-sticked Scottie Upshall in front of the penalty box and knocked him to the ice. But Panthers teammate Erik Gudbranson charged Carkner, and they immediately fought. Gudbranson was given an extra penalty for instigating, wiping out the power play. The Islanders added two goals in the second, including Baileys seventh 17 seconds after he served a penalty. McDonald got two whacks at the puck, and Bailey slammed in the rebound at 11:18. New York stretched the lead to 3-1 with 2:24 remaining. McDonald knocked the puck away from Racine at the left point and took off alone. The hard-charging Martin came down the middle and ripped in the rebound of McDonalds shot for his eighth goal. "They kept coming at us, kept crashing the crease," Clemmensen said. "They never stopped working, never gave up on plays all night." Halmo converted his rebound 4:21 into the third to make it 4-1. It was his first NHL goal in his 13th career game. "Everyone in here wants to play hard and be successful and give management something to think about for next season," Martin said. "Were in a profession where no ones job is really safe, so if you want to play here, youve got to show it." NOTES: For the third straight year, Martin was given the teams Bob Nystrom Award, honouring leadership, hustle and dedication. ... Racine and RW Bobby Butler were recalled from San Antonio (AHL) on Tuesday. Butler was scratched. ... With Montreal clinching a playoff spot, the trade between the Canadiens and Islanders in which Thomas Vanek was dealt by New York is completed. The Islanders will receive an extra second-round draft pick and give up their fifth-rounder to Montreal. Cheap Jerseys From China Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping Wholesale Jerseys 2019 Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale Jerseys From China NFL Jerseys Wholesale
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